Each year the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies offers a prize known as the Jacky Anne Sutton Prize. The objective of the prize is to honour the late Jacky Anne Sutton, a PhD student in the Centre of Arab and Islamic Studies, and an accomplished journalist and humanitarian activist. It was set up with the support of the Research School of Social Sciences, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU. The prize is awarded annually to the student with the best results in the course 'Politics in the Middle East'.
In 2020 prize was awarded to Laura Thomas. Following are Laura's words on winning the prize:
I am a third-year student studying a combined Bachelor of International Security and Languages at the ANU. I was drawn towards studying the course 'Politics in the Middle East' through a desire to gain a more nuanced perspective in my analysis of the region (a nuance I hoped to integrate into my wider work). Within weeks of starting this course, I was enthralled by the dynamism of the Middle East and I realised that understanding this region was a lifetime, rather than a semester, worth of work. The Jacky Anne Sutton Prize is significant for me as it aids me in pursuing my interest in the Middle East and empowers me as a junior female academic writing in an environment traditionally dominated by men.
During my semester studying Politics in the Middle East, I was inspired and encouraged by the kindness, perceptiveness and intelligence of my lecturer, Dr Liyana Kayali, and I believe this helped me produce some of my best work. This prize and the experience of walking in the footsteps of these two inspiring women has changed my perspective on my future academic studies; and I would now like to continue to pursue my studies of the Middle East, especially the ways in which marginalised groups (such as women) are able to influence social change.